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Artistic Director

Appiah Annan

Appiah Annan is a rare talent originating from Ghana, West Africa. His diverse practice spans many forms of dance including traditional African, contemporary, freestyle, hip hop and acrobatics, along with his impressive skills as a master drummer using both stick and hand drums.

Annan’s story begins on the streets of Africa where he began learning hip-hop and freestyle under the direction of dance master, Omari Oppong. By age 16 he won Ghana’s national dance championship, a prestigious event that saw him compete against Ghana’s finest dancers. He then trained with Agoro, a well-known and respected traditional drum and dance ensemble. By the time he was 18, he had worked with many international artists and companies including Ghanaian pop star, ‘Slim Buster’, the Ghanaian National Dance Ensemble and Afro Moses.

Having little himself, the young, entrepreneurial-minded dancer had a vision to make a difference in his community. He initiated Asanti Dance Theatre in Ghana in 2003 when he was 19 years old and there was little work for Ghanaian artists. This project grew from a few artists living and training together on the beach to an internationally recognised 15-piece drum and dance theatre company that regularly works with guest artists and students from around the world, including annually hosting students from Australian company, Wild Moves. His interest in the Afro-contemporary form began in these formative years as he engaged dancers from around the world in choreographic exchanges.

Appiah initiated Asanti Dance Theatre shortly after coming to Australia in 2007. Asanti has quickly become known and respected in the Australian dance scene and has performed at a variety of festivals and events including Womadelaide World Festival, Sydney Opera House, New Year's Eve at Fed Square, Australian Dance Awards, Woodford Folk Festival and many more.

Annan was one of 12 annual fellowships awarded by the Myer Foundation to figures in the arts and humanities who show "outstanding talent and exceptional courage". He has enjoyed a series of residencies over the years including with the Footscray Arts Centre, The Drum Theatre and Knox Community Arts Centre. He has also worked with and built connections with many independent and seasoned dancers and organisations.

Annan maintains a strong connection to community and devotes a lot of his time to working within a range of sectors including performing and operating workshops for youth, the elderly and the disadvantaged. Having studied Community Cultural Development at the Victorian College of the Arts, he aims to use the arts to encourage respect, togetherness and understanding among all members of our diverse society. He has an extensive school and community touring record, having toured 5 times with the Regional Arts Victoria Education and Families program, and independently throughout regional Victoria and QLD.

His compassionate and endearing nature saw him initiate Nkabom – a non-profit organisation in Ghana, West Africa that draws on the arts and education to engage and inspire youth to gain an education and develop skills that will help them achieve a brighter future. For more information about this visit www.nkabom.org

appiah annan artistic director of asanti dance theatre african performance group
We specialise in West African school incursions, interactive performances, drumming and dance workshops, motivational team building and professional development. We also provide world-class entertainment for corporate functions, festivals and private and community events. Book a free chat!

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Call Kat on +61 407 819 816
Email: info@asantidancetheatre.com
Based in Melbourne | Naarm, Australia
Operating Nationally